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Poor and Pregnant in Paris: Strategies for Survival in the Nineteenth Century (International Health)

Fuchs, Rachel G.

Editore: Rutgers University Press, 1992
ISBN 10: 0813517796 / ISBN 13: 9780813517797
Usato / Quantità: 1
Da Nearfine Books (Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.)
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Titolo: Poor and Pregnant in Paris: Strategies for ...

Casa editrice: Rutgers University Press

Data di pubblicazione: 1992

Condizione libro: very good


Gently used. Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Codice inventario libreria 9780813517797-3

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Rachel Fuchs shows how poor urban women in Paris negotiated their environment, and in some respects helped shape it, in their attempt to cope with their problems of poverty and pregnancy. She reveals who the women were and provides insight into the nature of their work and living arrangements. With dramatic detail, and drawing on actual court testimonies, Fuchs portrays poor women's childbirth experiences, their use of charity and welfare, and their recourse to abortion and infanticide as desperate alternatives to motherhood.

Fuchs also provides a comprehensive description of philanthropic and welfare institutions and outlines the relationship between the developing welfare state and official conceptions of womanhood. She traces the evolution of a new morality among policymakers in which secular views, medical hygiene, and a new focus on the protection of children replaced religious morality as a driving force in policy formation.

Combining social, intellectual, and medical history, this study of poor mothers in nineteenth-century society illuminates both class and gender relations in Paris, and illustrates the connection between social policy and the way ordinary women lived their lives.

Sinossi: Fuchs (history, Arizona State Univ.) examines the plight of poor, primarily single women and their pregnancies in Paris throughout the 19th century; since this group did not leave written records, she uses official records generated when they encountered the welfare or judicial systems to tell their story. Over the course of the century, the official attitude toward these women gradually changed: a moralistic, punitive approach gave way to a stronger public welfare system after 1870, when the focus shifted toward remedying depopulation and recognizing men's responsibility for the pregnancies. This debate between providing support to poor children and not wishing to reward irresponsible behavior continues today, and Fuchs's harrowing descriptions of illegal abortions, child abandonment, and infanticide provoke uncomfortable questions about the future as well as the past. Highly recommended for academic collections.

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